Survey results conveyed that many participants felt that a practice’s web and social media impact would “likely” or “very likely” influence their future health care decisions. A good portion noted that their trust in social media was “high” or “very high.” Maintaining a virtual presence allows practices to send the right message and control the content provided to their patients. Since patients are relying on social media and the Internet to influence their decisions, being a part of the conversation will make it easier for patients to recognize the practice and share their experiences with others.
Most physicians and their staff are wary of implementing social media due to the risk of breaching confidentiality and negatively impacting the physician-patient relationship. With the proper social media policy and team managing these sites, practices can successfully interact in a manner that is most effective for their patients and without harming the physician-patient relationship.
Getting involved in a media outlet that is most used by your patients will allow you to make an impact on their health care decision-making process. Contact the NCMS Member Resource Center at 800-722-1350 or email@example.com for more information about improving web-based interactions with North Carolina patients.
The AMA also offers guidelines for use of social media by physicians.